Friday, June 01, 2007

How to get back at the oil companies!

Let's boycott ______ gas!

Fill in the blank with whatever oil company you own the least amount of company stock in.

I can't imagine how the escalating price of gasoline is catching anyone by surprise. The same people, who opt for a fancy-schmancy largish poor mileage vehicle, when a smaller more economical vehicle would have done the trick, have no one to blame, but themselves, in my not so often humble opinion – okay, it's rarely humble, I know.

At what point does a person wake up and decide a lifestyle change is in order, when it comes to a vehicle CHOICE? I came to Texas in 1970 in a 1968 Shelby GT-350, burning rubber and grabbing gears every chance I got, but I drive a 4-banger compact car now which gets 35mpg and it can't pop a wheelie to save its young life. If I had my druthers, I'd still be driving the Mustang or my lifted Jeep TJ with 33" mud-terrain tires, that got 12 mpg, but the price of gasoline and the gawd-awful waste of revenue, which accompanies it, make it not worth the final cost.

The solution is so obvious; I don't even have to put a pencil to it.

If a person decides to buy one of these giant gas-guzzling/high performance/ low mileage vehicles and gas prices jump straight up till it hurts their wallet, it's there own danged fault. Sorry, but that's the way I see it. Blaming a car company, an oil company or even the government for our gas woes puts the fault/burden on them and not on us, but doesn't change the fact that we empower those people by our stupid addiction to low mileage/high horsepower vehicles. I want a lot of things I don't buy, because I see the liability side to the purchase.

Now granted, a rare breed of people still exist who cannot afford to drive a Tahoe with 20's, or an Escalade (but not many based on personal observation) and to those folks, I apologize. I've been there and not all that long ago. I drove whatever I could get and many times it wasn't all that economical.

One of the Internet myths that pops up every time gas prices head sharply up, is the boycott Exxon-Mobil for one day, or as I wrote above (fill in the blank). It doesn't work folks and you will do yourself and everyone else a favor by letting this myth die a quiet death.

Sure if enough people banded together and quit buying gas from an oil company, it would deal a blow to their profits, but one day's abstinence only means a busy day before and a busy day after for the folks that work there.

If you really, really want to make a difference in how much gas cost YOU - you have to buy less. Absolutely amazing Bert. You're a fricken genius…you know that? Yes, sometimes I think I am, but it's leavened by embarrassing moments of personal stupidity. I do however have this one figured out.

Carpool. Yes, I said the 7-letter curse word. But for every time you ride in someone else's car, you save money (another genius moment right there). Make sure your tires are properly inflated (read the sticker on the inside of the drivers door, not necessarily the side wall of the tire). Don't make unnecessary trips in your car – make a list and get everything done in one trip, if possible. Ride together instead of everyone enjoying the American luxury of independence. Wow! Ka-ching-arino! Money in the bank, baby!

I want to share a philosophy I have attempted to impress on my bride for many years and I not only believe it - I practice it. "It's more fun to make money, than to spend it". Giving less money to the gas station attendant (as far as I know, you have to drive to New Jersey to find a real attendant) is way more satisfying than hocking your golf clubs just to fill up the Hemi M1 Abrams.

Who in their right mind would spend most of their remaining paycheck, just so they could "style" back and forth to work? Nobody cares what we drive, haven't you noticed? We only impress ourselves with all this extravagance. Not too many years ago, the parking lot at work was full of "work trucks". Cash in the titles on those trucks today and you could put New Orleans back on its feet. Most of these guys live 30-80 miles from the Plant and their 4X4, diesel, ¾ or one ton, 4 door pick-em-up trucks or 1800 cc motorcycles eat up a goodly portion of their spendin' money every week.

We're doing it to ourselves folks. I wish we could hurt big oil, but then again, my oil company stock might fall off and I'd take a huge loss.


Rorschach said...

oil companies profit margins are in line with Walmart's or Microsoft's. it is just that they are so much BIGGER than Microsoft or Walmart. That makes the absolute number look really huge until you look it as a percentage of their operating costs. How many companies do you know of that can afford to take gambles of over 15 billion dollars (for a single field!)over a decade on untested, and in some cases non-existant, technology and geology before ANY return on investment comes back when the bottom could fall out of the market at any time? Was anyone shedding a tear for Big oil back in 1982?

Rhymes With Right said...

I'd like to echo Rorschach on this one. I pointed out some "minor details" about the percentage profit that oil companies make each year.

Anonymous said...

Where can I get an M1 Abrams with a Hemi??!!

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...